First Appearance: May, 1985
Violator is a humanoid male 5’8” tall and weighing approximately 115lbs. He has hazel eyes and generally goes clean-shaven. His fair skin and short brown hair tend to an “oily” appearance.
Violator’s battle armor is composed of bulky rigid armor sections painted olive green, with an articulated mesh understructure of a dark ochre or maroon color. Technical labels, warnings, and instructions cover the suit. A single decorative painted chevron tops the helmet.
Childhood and Adolescence
Malcolm Wayne Bagley was born November 24, 1960, in Cicero, IL. The youngest and smallest member of a working class family, Malcolm was subject to periodic bullying by his older brothers, Michael Jr. and Mark, which his parents largely dismissed as typical “boy behavior”. While his mother, Roberta, would sometimes offer sympathy, even that moderating influence was lost when his parents divorced in 1974, the boys remaining with their father. Michael, Sr. always tacitly accepted, or even encouraged, his sons’ behavior as “strengthening”.
An excellent student, Malcolm received little encouragement from his decidedly anti-intellectual family. His academic achievement was offset by recurring disciplinary problems, most rooted in his elevated status consciousness and belief that respect was most readily achieved at the expense of others. His few friends, male and female, came from even lower on the social pecking order.
Malcolm graduated from high school into a community college criminal justice program – a career as a police officer greatly appealed to him, and his academic skills seemed to bode well for rapid professional advancement. Living on his own, and in the fresh, lower social pressure environment of college, his self-confidence and social functioning improved. His personal need for status, however, and enjoyment of oppressing the oppressable, remained undiminished.
Malcolm’s future derailed, however, when he applied as a police recruit. Background checks uncovered a number of juvenile petty theft and vandalism arrests that he had assumed had been cleared from his record, and more importantly an arrest on a sexual battery charge stemming from a date in freshman year that hadn’t gone as well as he would have preferred. This was particularly frustrating, from Malcolm’s perspective, as the case had fallen apart when the girl had backed out of testifying. There were, after all, far more egregious episodes in his past that hadn’t even resulted in charges because the girls had been more responsive to intimidation or had less self-esteem to begin with.
The blemishes on his record, together with undisclosed psychological and polygraph test results, denied Malcolm a police career, but he found the screening for private security jobs to be rather less rigorous. He joined Testudo Security in 1982, where his quick mind and serious demeanor favorably impressed clients. Thus he found himself assigned to Testudo’s most prestigious client, the defense contractor Unitek, in Schaumburg, IL, in 1985.
The Power Augmented Personal Armor system was the culmination of billions of dollars in defense research funding, and the first fully functional prototype was being put through preliminary tests before being shipped off to advanced testing and evaluation at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Proud researchers were more than willing to let Malcolm witness it in action. It was love at first sight. Or perhaps more aptly, lust. If the PAPA suit didn’t quite represent ‘absolute’ power, it was still quite enough to corrupt Malcolm absolutely. He found himself contriving reasons to be present whenever the suit was out of storage, and formulated a plan.
Drugging the test operator’s morning coffee took some effort, but Malcolm was practiced at such things. Remembering under pressure how to put on the various internal elements of the suit was a bit harder, and remaining calm and patient as the unsuspecting technicians completed the assembly and systems checks was more challenging still. But it was all worth it for the thrill when the warning buzzer sounded, the doors of the test chamber opened, he took his first few steps… turned on his heels, deployed the proton emitters, and erased the technicians and lab in a screaming spray of blue-white sparks.
He had originally planned to simply run from the lab, and head for his planned hideout, but the power of the suit was intoxicating – the way he could stride through concrete block walls as if they were beaded curtains, the blind terror in the eyes of men (and especially women) as he pursued them through all obstacles, the way humans exploded with a squarely landed punch – and, after all, the less evidence that survived, the better. The first police to arrive as Malcolm emerged from Unitek’s rubble were especially gratifying to slaughter, but also a sign that he had to move on. He holed up in an abandoned Cicero gas station for a time, to work out methods of entering and exiting the suit unassisted, better familiarize himself with its systems overall, and consider his new career prospects. Inspired by the “V”-shaped chevron adorning the helmet, Malcolm coined his new professional name: Violator.
A few armored truck and bank robberies supplied him with ample working capital, and through underworld contacts, Violator established a headquarters in disused freight tunnels under downtown Chicago, outfitting it with equipment to maintain and repair his armor. He briefly hired himself out as an “enforcer” to some Chicago criminal enterprises, but soon found that the firepower he offered was more than mundane criminal enterprises needed or were willing to pay for. Violator began a series of “smash and grab” robberies of high-end jewelry stores and similar high-value targets around the US, noted for their destructiveness and his habits of directing violence at female bystanders and occasionally gratuitous use of them as human shields. While often linked with abductions and presumed murders of young women around the country during this same period, no conclusive evidence of such a connection has ever been produced. Violator’s known crimewave lasted several months and took over a hundred lives, including superheroes Solaris and Jade Fist. Ultimately only a coordinated response from the New York Defenders, culminating in a battle with Cyclone, Peregrine, Silver Ninja, and Turbofire outside Fort Knox, KY, managed to seriously damage Violator, who only narrowly escaped.
Requiring substantial resources to repair his armor, and seeking to move beyond the easy reach of US superhero groups, Violator began a long-term relationship with the government of South Africa (1986-88). His capabilities proved invaluable to counterinsurgency operations in Namibia and raids on guerilla bases in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. On at least two occasions in his mercenary work Violator worked alongside the supervillain Skorpion, who apparently introduced him to a number of useful international criminal contacts. He is also known to have operated as a mercenary in Indonesia, Columbia (where he is believed to have killed Soviet superhero Ultima), and Nigeria.
Violator’s best known criminal exploit remains his overthrow of the government of the Republic of Maldives in October 1988. Messily crushing Maldivian police opposition and leveling the Presidential Palace, Violator proceeded to fight a battalion of Indian paratroopers to a draw, withdrawing just before the near simultaneous arrival of teams from the New York Defenders and the Soviet Directorate of Superbeings, which itself resulted in a somewhat tense standoff. This operation was apparently planned in conjunction with an as yet unidentified criminal organization as a diversion for a planned robbery of the Grand Mogul’s treasures, then on display at the Indian National Museum in New Dehli. By fortunate coincidence, a majority of these treasures were in storage for expert examination on the day of the attack, and the loss was limited to items with a total value of approximately $5 million.
In 1989, Violator was apparently recruited by the supervillain Mass Mind, and returned to the US to participate in a series of raids in the Philadelphia area, apparently intended to gauge superhero response after most of the world’s major groups had disappeared. These raids precipitated a series of clashes with the newly formed System Four, including a battle at Penn’s Landing in which Captain Firehawk tore the Anti-Matter Bazooka off of Violator’s armor while it was locked in firing position. Violator dove from his firing position atop one of the Ben Franklin Bridge’s anchorage towers to escape the ensuing blast, which Captain Firehawk also survived, though with serious injuries.
In a subsequent attack on System Four’s headquarters at Liberty One, Violator took visiting New York Defender Sybil as a hostage. Whether he originally did so for his own gratification or to use as a shield, in light of serious damage his armor had already sustained in the battle, remains unknown. After a failed attempt by Psion to disable the saw with which Sybil was being threatened, however, any tactical considerations were cast aside as Violator merrily killed her and proceeded to knock Psion unconscious. When Captain Firehawk arrived a moment later, his fiery breath breached the seals of Violator’s armor and ignited both elements of the inner protective garment and their occupant. The armor’s positive pressure NBC system dutifully continued to pump fresh air to feed the fire, and Violator’s corpse was thoroughly incinerated in minutes.
Violator is not believed to have had any formal training in martial arts or combat tactics, but has learned quickly from experience. He similarly has had no more than high school vo-tech level formal training in electronics, but through study and experience is able to competently maintain and perform minor repairs to his armor.
Violator is believed to have phrasebook level understanding of Spanish and Afrikaans.
Violator’s armor was intended for use by special operations forces and combat engineers, providing the firepower and survivability of a heavy armored vehicle to missions requiring the highest tactical and operational mobility and flexibility. Primary protection is provided by titanium boride/alumina/synthetic diamond composite armor modules, with articulated layers of silicon carbide and titanium alloy providing secondary protection over areas requiring greater flexibility. A Kevlar inner garment provides tertiary anti-spalling protection over the wearer’s whole body.
A backpack-like extension on the dorsal surface of the armor contains life-support and power storage systems, as well as anchoring the recoil mount of the Anti-Matter Bazooka. The Bazooka itself attaches to the side of the dorsal extension when not in use. The primary power storage unit is a bank of hypervelocity boron-carbon flywheels housed in the dorsal unit, which also houses a back-up power generator in the form of a sealed micro-thermal plutonium reactor. Secondary storage flywheel modules are distributed throughout the armor, which are also part of the system for recapture of waste motive energy from the normal operation of the electro-active polymer and magneto-hydrodynamic ram systems.
The armor’s electro-active polymer and magneto-hydrodynamic ram-based strength augmentation systems permit it to lift close to 25 tons, and leap over a third of a mile.
The life-support system is a positive-pressure NBC type with full air recirculation using CO2 scrubbers. It also incorporates a nutritive lozenge and water dispenser, and a waste filtration/reclamation system designed for advanced space-based EVA suits. Standard endurance is approximately 30 days, though this may be extended by rationing food below recommended allotments, supplementing oxygen reserves, etc.
The primary weapon system is the Anti-Matter Bazooka – A burst-firing macro anti-particle accelerator, intended to provide maximum obstacle-destroying blast effect with significant deep armor piercing capability to a range of 500’. To reduce complexity and size, the weapon is deployed as a self-contained unit that is stowed alongside the dorsal power unit, but is manually interfaced with the armor which is then placed in one of several specified firing stances to facilitate aiming and absorb recoil. This approach also readily facilitates detaching and replacing the weapon under combat conditions – desirable since power and payload are limited to ten shots.
The secondary weapon system is a pair of directed energized proton emitters integral to the armor’s arms. The emitter antennas are deployed before firing, and otherwise retracted and stowed to protect them from damage. The energized proton streams (or, more accurately, “sprays”) spread in an expanding wave that will erode and disintegrate normal matter on contact to a range of 250’.
The integral tertiary weapon system is an aerosol dispensing array, optionally focusable in one direction or deployable in 360°. Ostensibly intended for obscuring smoke screens or irritant gas for crowd dispersal, at the time of the armor’s theft it appears to have contained the incapacitating nerve agent BZ. It could as easily be used to dispense more lethal agents.
Additional tertiary weapons, such as small arms, may be carried externally. At the time it was stolen, the armor was equipped with a so-called “Exterminator Pistol” (M-610) – effectively a flechette-firing, 5 round magazine-fed, 20mm shotgun – in an external belt holster. This weapon, a more compact spinoff of the CAWS project, is not considered controllable by unenhanced humans, and was designed specifically for use with a powered exoskeleton system.
An array of tool systems are built into the armor, including:
- Carbide circular saw
- Carbide tipped drill
- Plasma-arc welding torch
- Magnetic grapple (intended for small part recovery and armor anchoring)
- Expanding-head piton cannons with associated steel cable/winch units
Free multipurpose mountings are incorporated for many more tools. No suitable tool modules have ever been series produced, though Violator himself is known to have improvised some, such as telephone line gear, flare projectors, and a laser designator.
No advanced sensor or communication systems had been fitted to the armor at the time of its theft, though space was reserved for mounting them. The armor was, however, equipped with polarized filters to protect the wearer’s eyes from the effects of the primary and secondary weapon systems. It is believed that Violator has utilized off-the-shelf night vision systems in conjunction with the armor in the past, and has fitted radio communications gear as his operations have required.
- ↑ In fact, the weapon’s armor piercing characteristics versus advanced composite armors were not found to be superior to conventional hypervelocity and shaped-charge projectiles, and its range drastically worse. Though its comparatively compact size and considerable secondary incendiary effects were noteworthy, it was never produced as an independent weapon system.